Our resident tipster likes the look of a couple of runners over jumps this afternoon.
There’s some excellent jumping action at Wetherby and Uttoxeter this afternoon and I fancy a runner at each.
The bet365 Handicap Chase (due off 2.15pm) is the feature at the Yorkshire track and it sees the return to action of last year’s winner Shadows Lengthen, who is just 2lb higher and is likely to have been trained with a repeat in mind. However, this looks a more competitive renewal than 12 months ago and you can make a case for all his seven rivals.
Last year’s runner-up Off The Ground is clearly off interest off 8lb lower and he was in the process of running a big race at Warwick on his reappearance before falling. Dan Skelton’s Summer Plate fourth Pumped Up Kicks is another to consider with the stable flying, but they all help to make the market for Colin Tizzard-trained THEATRE GUIDE, who is perhaps best caught fresh.
The eight-year-old has twice won on his seasonal debut and is well handicapped on some of his old form, which includes a third (of 21) in the 2013 Hennessy at Newbury. He was running off 145 there and has been as high as 149, so today’s mark of 140 looks generous. With his stable in good form and with Paddy Brennan booked to do the steering, he may well be able to take advantage.
The beginners’ chase at Uttoxeter (3.00pm) looks a real cracker with high-class hurdler Garde La Victoire and Bristol De Mai, one of last season’s star novices, set to clash. Preference is for the former at bet365’s 5/4, but his stablemate ONEFITZALL makes more appeal as a betting proposition in the 2m3f novices’ hurdle (1.15pm).
He absolutely hacked up in a bumper at this track last December, his only start to date, and the form looks solid as the third, Mister Miyagi, is highly regarded and made a winning hurdles debut at Cheltenham last week. The selection promises to be just as good over hurdles and, indeed, his trainer Philip Hobbs described him in a recent Stable Tour as “one of his best novice hurdle prospects”, which is saying something given the wealth of talent at his disposal.
This is no tap-in by any means as he’s up against Jonjo O’Neill’s Suit Yourself, who like the selection won his only bumper start, and what could be a potentially useful recruit from the pointing field in Beware The Bear, who has joined Nicky Henderson. But the Hobbs runner looks the one to be on today and he’s a very backable 2/1.